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Stitchtember - Day 5 - Stem Stitch

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Stem stitch is ideal for lettering, outlines and of course - stems! I regularly use it to stitch the stems of flowers in my designs. Stem stitch creates a neat, twisted rope like effect which is suitable for both straight and curved lines.

Stem stitch tutorial


Materials:

· Fabric – cotton or linen fabric works well. I used osnaburg fabric which is 100% seeded cotton, but you can use any spare fabric you already have.

· Stranded embroidery thread

· Needle

· Scissors


Optional:

· Embroidery hoop


Just for your reference, during this tutorial I am using osnaburg 100% cotton seeded fabric, black DMC stranded cotton embroidery thread, a hand embroidery needle and a 5” DMC beechwood embroidery hoop.


1. Thread your needle using stranded embroidery thread. For this tutorial I start by using all six strands of DMC stranded embroidery thread. You can choose how many strands of embroidery thread you would like to work with.


2. Bring your needle through from the back of the fabric to the front at point 1.

3. Put your needle into the fabric at point 2.

4. Pull the needle and thread through the fabric, leave the stitch loose, forming a little loop on top of the fabric.

5. Keep the loop to the right hand side and bring the needle up at point 3, the middle point of your stitch.

6. Gently pull the thread to tighten the threads and form your first stitch.

7. Put your needle back into the fabric at point 4.

8. Pull your needle through the fabric, leave the thread loose, forming a loop on top of your fabric.

9. Keep the loop to the right hand side and bring the needle up at point 5, the middle point of your stitch.

11. Gently pull the thread to tighten the threads and form your second stitch.

11. Put your needle back into the fabric at point 6.

12. Pull your needle through the fabric, leave the thread loose, forming a loop on top of your fabric.

13. Keep the loop to the right hand side and bring the needle up at point 7, the middle point of your stitch.

14. Gently pull the thread to tighten the threads and form your second stitch. Continue this process until you reach the end of your stem stitch.

15. Once you have reached the your desired length of stem stitch, put your needle back into the

fabric at point 8, the end of your last stitch.

16. Your stem stitch is now complete.


Stem stitch top tips:

  • Keep the stitches smaller for curved lines to achieve a smooth rounded look

  • Change the number of threads used to change the look of the stitch for different projects

  • Try to keep the length and tension of your stitches consistent to create a uniform look


Stem Stitch Video Tutorial:


Happy stitching!

Hannah x


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